The head of the U.S. intelligence agency tasked with investigating alleged alien spacecraft sightings says it found no evidence of extraterrestrial life on Earth.
But that’s not necessarily good news, says Sean Kirkpatrick, director of the Pentagon’s All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO).
Instead, Kirkpatrick fears the handful of the agency’s unresolved cases might be examples of unidentified, advanced earthly technologies instead of alien spacecraft, which poses a “big national security risk.”
“The best thing that could have happened in this job is to find the aliens because the alternative… is not a good thing,” Kirkpatrick said during a George Mason University panel on Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena, or UAP, last week.
The event — a few months after a memorable Congressional hearing on potential extraterrestrials this summer — focused on AARO’s findings from some 800 reported sightings and their implications for national security. While the vast majority of objects are benign, a small handful give Kirkpatrick pause.
“There was only about 2-4%, I think was around the number, that we have enough data for that are truly something we want to go dig in and go figure out what that is, and most everything else we can readily identify,” he said.
Most of the time, sightings wind up being everyday items, such as balloons, often misreported due to “training problems.”
“We have a number of pilots who will see these off in the distance, and there is an optical illusion that they will often see it’s called parallax,” he said.
“But they see it. They don’t understand it. They report it, and they write down in their report this is a UAP… they will clearly say, however, it looks like a balloon. It’s got a tether on it. It looks like it’s flying with the wind. But it because they mark it as a UAP it comes to us,” Kirkpatrick continued.
His job, and that of AARO, has been to resolve reported sightings and develop a framework for evaluating sightings to use going forward.
First, Kirkpatrick says, scientists have to determine what the sensors that sensed a UAP are intended to detect, he says. Then, analysts compare these findings with information from the intelligence community on known entities or individuals who may be “doing something that matches those signatures.”
If the two groups disagree, Kirkpatrick says they try and get to a solution in what he affectionately called a “cage match.”
So far, no evidence of extraterrestrial life has been found. The unexplained 2-4% of cases — often resembling state-of-the-art earthly technologies, such as spherical drones — give him pause, however.
“We did a commercial drone survey and did some research going on out there and do you know what then the next biggest wave of drone technology is? Spherical drones,” he said. “Do you know why? Because they’re safe to use inside, so if they crash into people that, you don’t get hit in the head with a propeller.”
Kirkpatrick says AARO is working on ways to differentiate between earthly and alien tech signatures, though he believes the latter is far less likely.
“Now I know out in the universe, because of the vastness of the universe, it is — and I think most of the scientific community would agree with this — statistically impossible that there’s no life out there,” Kirkpatrick said. “Whether or not that’s intelligent life, whether or not they’ve traveled here, that is a diminishing probability as you go down that train.”
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About Latinas Leading Tomorrow (LLT): Latinas Leading Tomorrow is a dynamic 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young Latina women through education, mentorship, and leadership development. We are committed to fostering a community of future leaders who will make a significant impact to the community.
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Oversee program operations, including educational and community initiatives.
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Lead fundraising efforts in partnership with the Board Members.
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Communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders and make compelling public presentations.
Promote inclusivity and collaboration throughout the organization.
Children’s Weekday Program (CWP) is a non-profit preschool rooted in a play-based philosophy. We focus on developing a love of learning and exploration, cooperation, empathy, and independence.
Our caring and experienced educators create opportunities for children 16 months to 5 years old to play, learn, and grow in a nurturing environment of child-centered and developmentally appropriate experiences.
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Standup Comedy Starring Casey James Salengo (Comedy Central, Jimmy Kimmel Live)
Friday, December 29
Headliner: Casey James Salengo
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Menorah Lighting – Met Park at Amazon HQ2
Menorah Lighting and Community Celebration
Experience the festival of lights!!
*Lighting of a giant 9-foot Menorah